The Golden State Warriors really want Steve Kerr, but it seems like he’ll end up with the New York Knicks. They were interested in Stan Van Gundy to fill in for Mark Jackson, but he signed with the Detroit Pistons. Who is left? George Karl, Lionel Hollins and possibly even Tom Thibodeau, who is coaching the Chicago Bulls, are leading the shortlist of names that the Warriors would like to see as their head coach.
Mark Jackson was fired after three years with the Warriors, leading them to two consecutive playoff appearances after a six year drought. That didn’t stop Jackson from getting the boot, with the loss to the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs being an excuse, while it was more his behavior and attitude that rubbed the owners the wrong way.
Steve Kerr, who is deep in negotiations with the New York Knicks, was their top candidate heading into the head hunting period. However, Kerr will likely end up on the East Coast, and Stan Van Gundy didn’t get the assurances regarding the expanded authority he was looking for, instead signing with the Detroit Pistons who are in much worse shape and more desperate to cave into demands.
So who is left? George Karl has been out for one season after a very successful decade with the Denver Nuggets, at least when it comes to the regular season. He has stated he is interested in returning to the courts, and having a talented team like the Warriors is certainly peaking his interest. He is also the most experienced of the candidates.
Lionel Hollins is out there looking for work, and he is expected to interview for the job very soon. His last gig was with the Memphis Grizzlies, taking them to their first ever conference finals. Hollins was let go for not following company line of sorts, which means not believing in all of the analytical shift the franchise was pulling towards.
Tom Thibodeau is the interesting and unlikely name. He is with the Chicago Bulls, where he is very appreciated. However, Thibodeau has had his bad moments with general manager Gus Forman and you never know what kind of offer the Warriors will make to the Bulls if the defensive specialist is really the one they want.
There are other named being floated around: Mike D’Antoni, Fred Hoibert, Kevin Ollie, even Jerry Sloan. There are also the assistant who usually get promoted each year, which makes Alvin Gentry and Nate McMillan, former head coaches, likely candidates to be at least approached or looked at.